A radiant purple decorates the concrete and glass towers of Harare. It’s a magnificent, stunning spectacle that crowns the often dirty and bustling streets of Harare. The jacaranda trees are once again blooming in Harare, signifying changing seasons in a country that enjoys more heat than the cold winter which ended recently.
The monotony of repetition is broken by the progress of time as signified in the purple bloom and yet that change is not reflected in the lives of the people who still trudge on with burdens that seem to grow heavier, day by day.
Mothers, with children on their backs, are starting preparations for the impending rain season for in the soils our hopes live and maybe this year will bring good rains to sustain us. There are no jobs and tilling the land, coaxing out even a meagre harvest from the now sterile soils, is one way to keep busy.
Women in Zimbabwe have a saying “munhu haangogare” (a woman cannot just sit idle) and indeed the summer seasons is often the busiest one for anyone lucky enough to have a piece of land passed from generation to generation, as well as the decreasing few to have benefited from the land reform programme.
I, just like these women and all other Zimbabweans, look forward to this great, but hot, season. There is a hint of promise that in the near future there will be a bonus to take home, a festive season to celebrate and a new year to prepare for.
But the sight of the women tilling the barren land, with no guarantees of rains, brings me back to reality, because I know with deep certainty that the land will not give bounty, the nation will see no bonus and the Christmas season no cheer. There will not be the beauty of the fertile blossom that comes from the mocking bloom of the jacaranda trees.
Not until Zimbabwe has a government that is concerned with the welfare of its citizens.